Big crowd ex­pected for Joon­dalup Wolves

Joondalup Weekender - - Front Page - Mark Don­ald­son

ONE of the big­gest reg­u­lar sea­son crowds the Joon­dalup Wolves have ever seen is ex­pected when they face the Wil­let­ton Tigers at the open­ing of their new home at HBF Arena on Satur­day.

The State Bas­ket­ball League re­turns this week­end, with the Wolves look­ing for a big start in their quest for the ti­tle af­ter back-to-back grand fi­nal losses.

And it doesn’t come much big­ger than stand­ing cen­tre stage as your club launches a to­tal over­haul of the gamenight ex­pe­ri­ence in front of a fore­cast 1000-plus fans.

With tick­ets only avail­able at the door, Wolves chief ex­ec­u­tive Cameron Britt has one mes­sage – get there early.

“For two metro clubs, that’s as big as it gets crowd-wise,” he said.

“So we’re plan­ning and pre­par­ing with Venueswest staff… to de­liver a pre­mium fan ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The new sta­dium can seat 700 peo­ple, with mul­ti­ple stand­ing zones in­clud­ing the bar and club bal­cony “com­fort­ably” stretch­ing that num­ber to 800.

The Wolves will also un­veil their 2018 im­ports Jalen Billups and Brian Sul­li­van on Satur­day.

The club has had a tough time find­ing the right mix of im­ports in re­cent sea­sons, lead­ing to mul­ti­ple mid-sea­son line-up changes.

But Britt was con­fi­dent they had found a pair that would re­main with the side from start to fin­ish. Billups ar­rives af­ter a stand­out sea­son as a power player with the Cock­burn Cougars, while Sul­li­van’s re­sume at David­son Col­lege in­cludes sit­ting sec­ond be­hind NBA star Stephen Curry in ca­reer made three­p­oint­ers.

The team had orig­i­nally poached scor­ing ma­chine Dwayne Ben­jamin from the Ger­ald­ton Bu­ca­neers but visa com­pli­ca­tions pre­vented the plan com­ing to fruition.

Up to 800 fans are ex­pected to watch the Wolves bat­tle the Tigers on Satur­day.

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